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Transport minister denies embezzlement suspicion

He links the case against him with reforms he has been implementing.

Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan has said the notice of suspicion of embezzlement he was served today by the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) has to do with reforms he is conducting, the coming elections in the country and a case against former MP Mykola Martynenko, which NABU detectives have been investigating into for several years, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

"My greetings, the elections have begun," the minister said. He was commenting on the suspicion of embezzlement committed 10 years ago, the "use or purchase" of a car for a brother and the non-declaration of residence in the house within two weeks in 2016."

"In fact: by a strange coincidence, it was opened right after my visit to the Martynenko trial," Omelyan said. He, together with Sports Minister Ihor Zhdanov and People's Front MPs, vouched for Martynenko in court in April 2017.

According to the minister, for over a year and a half, the NABU checked his mail, messengers, conducted searches and interviews with acquaintances, relatives and friends.

"A lot of time and taxpayers' money has been spent for the sole purpose of declaring suspicion to the minister. If these are the greatest "crimes" that could be incriminated to me during my tenure as minister, then I am not ashamed to look at either our citizens, foreign partners, or the country," Omelyan said.

At the same time, he recalled that more than 1bn hyrvnyas "disappears without a trace" at the Ukrainian railway company Ukrzaliznytsya every year. He also recalled about the resistance to the arrival of Ryanair airline in Ukraine, the signing of contracts for the delivery of GE diesel locomotives and the holding of tenders for dredging works.

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